IndyCar at St. Pete

Wow! I never expected it to take me all week to get this post out. To say I’ve been a bit overwhelmed in my personal life is an understatement. Last weekend, race weekend, we were hosting a pastor and his family. Pastor John was the pastoral candidate at our church. I served on the search team that recommended him to our elders. The elders recommended him to the congregation. After a long weekend of meet and greets and John preaching on Sunday morning, our church voted unanimously for him to be our new Sr. Pastor. It was a fun weekend. So excited to see how God will use him in our church. The racing side of me was eager to get home on Sunday and catch up on the race. I was able to watch the race Sunday afternoon. Monday morning our house guests left- Pastor John, his wife Kim and three of their five children had stayed with us for six nights. I enjoyed one quiet night before a new house guest arrived. She needs a little assistance getting back on her feet and will be with us about a week. She demands a lot of attention and that has kept me from having time to sit down and write this.

Celebration at Culver’s the evening of the vote. My boys and the pastors kids get along great.

St. Pete

Ok, let’s get down to business. NBCSN announced they would be the sole carrier of IndyCar for 2019 and beyond. Amazing news. The also offered a gold package on the NBC sports app. The gold package would offer lots of extra coverage and the ability to watch the race shortly after the air time. The cost was approximately $50 with the price going up $5 after opening day at St Pete. I debated waiting until after St Pete and hearing everyone’s thought on the gold package but eventually decided I’m too big of a fan to wait. I have to say I thoroughly appreciated the coverage. I miss the IndyCar Radio guys so as the season progresses I may flip back and forth or first listen to radio and then watch the app later. I think it’s going to be huge for me next weekend with COTA when I am out of town and unable to watch live. So far I’m impressed.

So this long after the race you have all had time to digest what happened so rather than do a race review I’m going to touch on a couple things that stuck out to me.

  • Loving that NBCSN is the provider. Qualifying, pre show and post show. I always hated that ABC just opened the season with a few minutes before jumping right into the race. I’m really excited to have every race covered by NBC. I’m especially excited to watch the Indy 500.
  • The race started with a clean lap around turn one and continued. On Lap 13, Sébastien Bourdais, who had won the last two years was out. A yellow was not called.
  • Lap 20 Ryan Hunter-Reay had smoke pouring from his car. A full course yellow was called. I’m not a RHR fan so it did not upset me at all to see him out.
  • Lap 26 Matheus Leist and Ed Jones touched sending Jones into the wall.
  • Somewhere around lap 60 NBCSN had some technical difficulties. To be honest I fast forwarded over this and wasn’t watching live to check in on social media to find out what was going on. I think it was just one of those weird things. I don’t expect it to be an issue in future races. We were back live within 10 laps.
  • By this time Josef Newgarden was running away with the race. At one time JNew had a 9 second lead over Scott Dixon. Crazy!
  • Felix Rosenqvist had an impressive race. Not quite what we saw from Robert Wickens last year but still one to watch this season. He finished 4th.
  • Dario Franchitti is to be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame. That’s quite the honor and honesty well deserved.
  • AJ Foyt was back at the track for the first time since his back surgery last year. Always makes me happy to see AJ at a race.
  • Which brings me to a last point.
  • COLTON HERTA- The whole thing with Harding Steinbrenner Racing is sad. So disappointed for Pato O’Ward. Thankfully, Pato found a ride and I’m excited to watch Colton’s career unfold. He showed a ton of speed in qualifying and was set to make the fast six before a penalty for slowing a driver down was imposed. Colton finished 8th in the race and I have to say I’m more impressed by this rookie than I have been by others. I know he has the name but I still expect to see him shine in the series. Keep your eye on him.
  • Oh wait. My final thought- how cool is it that Robert Wickens was at the St Pete race. He did a ton of appearances and was a great help to James Hinchcliffe. After the race, James, Robert and Marco Andretti along with their better halves took a birthday trip to the Bahamas. Robert celebrated his 30th birthday. Same day as Marco’s birthday. Fun videos and James’ podcast happened during that trip. Loved seeing Robbie poolside and able to relax. Continue to pray for his recovery.
  • Thanks for reading. Hope to be more timely with my COTA posts.
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